Bella Hadid Sued by Photo Agency For Sharing Photo Without Permission


Model Bella Hadid is facing a copyright infringement lawsuit after she posted an image of herself on Instagram without the photographer’s permission.

In the lawsuit which was filed Saturday, photo agency Chouet’Press SAS which does business as BestImage, alleges that one of its photographers took a photo of Hadid in sunglasses and green pants.

On June 27, 2021, it is claimed that Hadid then posted the photo to her Instagram profile, which boasts 56.6 million followers, without the photo agency’s permission.

The photo agency has filed a complaint with California federal court asking for an injunction against Hadid’s further use of the photograph and damages, among other things.

“BestImage never licensed the photograph to defendant,” BestImage alleges in court documents which were viewed by Law360.

“Nevertheless, [the] defendant used the photograph without authorization or permission from plaintiff to do so.”

The complaint, which did not include a copy of the photograph, says the photo was “highly creative, distinctive, and — as evidenced by Ms. Hadid’s use and misappropriation of it — valuable.”

“Because of Ms. Hadid’s popularity and celebrity status, and the photograph’s quality and visual appeal, BestImage (and the photographer it represents) stood to gain licensing revenue from licensing the photograph,” the complaint claims.

The photo agency says it suffered damages as a result of the supermodel’s unauthorized use of the image.

In the complaint, Best Image says Hadid acted “recklessly by posting the photograph” and such actions will support statutory damages for “willful infringement… in the sum of up to $150,000 per infringed work.”

Hadid is the latest celebrity to be taken to court by a photographer or photo agency over the misuse of intellectual property in recent months.

In October, Miley Cyrus settled a lawsuit a month after she was sued for posting an image of herself on Instagram without paparazzi photographer Robert Barbera’s permission.

In June, photographer, Edward Opinalodo sued model and actress Emily Ratajkowski for posting an image of herself on Instagram without his permission.

After claiming paparazzi “weaponize” the copyright act, actress Lisa Rinna settled her $1.2 million lawsuit with a photo agency after posting paparazzi images of herself on her Instagram account without compensating the photographer.

Image credits: Header photo licensed via Depositphotos.